Spoonhandle, Ruth Moore's second novel, spent 14 weeks on The New York Times Bestseller List and was made into the movie Deep Waters. Spoonhandle is about Maine, brilliantly authentic, but the story told is universal, as old as time as it deals with the struggle between love and meanness of spirit, between human dignity and greed.
Born and raised in the Maine fishing village of Gotts Island, Ruth Moore (1903–1989) emerged as one of the most important Maine authors of the twentieth century, best known for her authentic portrayals of Maine people and her evocative descriptions of the state. In her time, she was favorably compared to Faulkner, Steinbeck, Caldwell and O’Connor. She graduated from Albany State Teacher’s College and worked at a variety of jobs in New York, Washington, D.C., and California, including as personal secretary to Mary White Ovington, a founder of the NAACP, and at Reader’s Digest. Her debut novel in 1943, The Weir was hailed by critics and established Moore as novelist, but her second novel, Spoonhandle reached great success, spending fourteen weeks on The New York Times bestseller list and was made into the movie, Deep Waters. The success of Spoonhandle provided her with the financial security to build a house in Bass Harbor and spend the rest of her life writing novels in her home state. Ultimately, she wrote 14 novels. Moore and her partner, Eleanor Mayo, traveled extensively, but never again lived outside of Maine. Moore died in Bar Harbor in 1989.